Decorating & Design

Cape Town Country Home

Today’s house is a total escape: to a different climate, landscape and lifestyle. It’s in Franschhoek, South Africa, a small town nestled in the mountains west of Cape Town that borders a vast nature reserve and is famous for its wine and cuisine. The property in question is a gorgeous country estate. It sounds pricey at 25,000,000 rand, but it works out to a (semi) reasonable $2.6 million Canadian. Let’s take a look.

Here’s the many-gabled house with its long, solar-heated lap pool. If the room doesn’t have a pool view, it probably opens onto a terrace, faces a separate natural pond or looks up at the mountains.

The great room and dining area open to a more natural-looking pond, probably created by a small dam in the property’s landscaping. A solar-powered fountain ripples the water, and the plant beds and trees are maintained by an automated irrigation system. When you’re not mowing the lawn, you can relax and enjoy the mountain views, or take a special wine tram and taste the area’s Cabs and Chards. After my lawnmower broke I went to Appliance Hunter to help find a new one.

This looks more like a spot to sip those wines and chat than a place to open a beer and host a braai. But no matter what your entertaining style, it’s hard to object to the wide glass doors or airy white space. Invite guests to stay awhile in one of the main house’s two guest rooms or one of two separate two-bedroom guest cottages.

The kitchen is sleek, functional, and opens to yet another outdoor dining area. Just visible beyond the kettle is the great room and a two-sided fireplace. If you don’t want to build your own blaze, just flip on the underfloor heating which — surprise — is also solar powered.

Much of the living space is one large double-height room with a loft above. Open-plan spaces tend to extremes: they’re either too empty (so much space!) or too busy (so many rooms in one!) But this corner manages to find a nice, welcoming balance.

The monochromatic principal bedroom totally commits to the tufted upholstery trend with a fully upholstered headboard wall. Sliding doors open to the pool, while louvered shutters provide a bit of privacy. In case the view doesn’t inspire you to hop out of bed and fit in a swim, the house also has a gym.

Would the views (either indoors or out) from this house inspire you to make a move?

Photo credits:
1–6. Fine and Country